Uber launches world’s first ride-sharing submarine in Australia

UBER has teamed up with Tourism and Events Queensland to launch the world’s first ride-sharing submarine on the Great Barrier Reef.

‘scUber’ will take tourists 30m underwater to explore the Reef like never before, complete with 180 degree views and all without getting wet.

The three-person submarine was launched on Heron Island, off the coast of Gladstone in the Southern Great Barrier Reef on Thursday.


The once-in-a-lifetime experience can be booked through the Uber app for $1500, which includes a helicopter from Gladstone to Heron Island, from May 27 to June 18 and will be strictly subject to availability.

After wowing visitors on Heron Island for two weeks, scUber will then move further north to Quicksilver Cruises’ Agincourt Reef, off the coast of Port Douglas.

Source: Tourism and Events Queensland

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said ScUber was expected to attract thousands of tourists to the area from key source markets like the US, Canada, UK, France and New Zealand.

She said the government would “tap into Uber’s vast customer base throughout North America and Europe to showcase the Reef”.

“The Great Barrier Reef is our greatest tourism asset [and] this will give visitors a completely new way to experience this great natural wonder,” she said.

“We’re working harder than ever before to find new ways to showcase the unique experiences on offer in Queensland.

“Our exclusive four-week promotion is about getting the message out to the world that the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most beautiful places on earth to visit.”

“We know that visiting the Great Barrier Reef can change people’s perception. By giving more visitors direct, personal access, scUber will hopefully inspire others to come and experience the Reef’s beauty.

Ms Jones said the campaign would support 15,700 jobs, generate an extra 1.4 million visitors and deliver an additional $1.8 billion in visitor expenditure to the region over the next three years.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the scUber promotion would show the world that the Great Barrier Reef is brimming with life.

The Reef welcomes almost three million visitors every year, contributes $5.7 billion in economic value and supports almost 59,000 full time jobs.

“This is a great win for Gladstone and for tourism businesses right throughout Central Queensland,” Mr Butcher said.

“The Great Barrier Reef is the centrepiece of Queensland’s tourism offering, and Australia’s most valuable natural tourism asset.

“This campaign will show the world through the eyes of high-profile influencers, the media and every day travellers that the reef is teeming with life, marine animals and beauty.

“The management of the Great Barrier Reef is world-leading and Queensland’s tourism industry plays a key role in protecting and advocating for the reef.

“Tourism operators in Queensland are developing innovative new experiences to meet evolving consumer trends and we hope the launch of scUber will stimulate demand for this new type of travel.”

TEQ Chief Executive Officer Leanne Coddington said it was fitting to launch the campaign 10 years on from the Best Job in the World promotion.

“Just as ‘Best Job’ was a ground-breaking way to promote the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, the launch of scUber will offer an unparalleled insight and unfiltered lens to the extraordinary underwater world of the reef,” Ms Coddington said.

“Research undertaken for TEQ in late 2018 showed us that submarine travel was at the top of travellers wish-lists as a future experience on the reef.

“scUber brings that wish to reality, and a lucky few from around the world will tell that story to the world over the next four weeks, showcasing the reef like never before.”

Susan Anderson, Regional General Manager of Uber, Australia and New Zealand, said the submarine was an innovative first for the Great Barrier Reef.

“Uber is committed to harnessing the power of technology for good. We are proud to partner with Tourism and Events Queensland to help showcase the reef to the world with the launch of scUber,” Mrs Anderson said.

“At Uber, we believe good things happen when people move – whether that’s by getting people from A to B in their city, or by making dreams come true experiencing the world’s greatest natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how visitors to the Great Barrier Reef embrace this new form of movement and become advocates of the reef for years to come.”

The initiative will be supported by a global integrated marketing campaign, consumer competition and retail offerings through key distribution partners in the UK, New Zealand and the USA.